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Anduril raises up to $1.2 billion, sources say at $7 billion pre-money valuation, for its defense technology – TechCrunch

Technology designed to improve state resilience – whether in the form of cybersecurity, energy independence, national defense or anything else – has become more visible in the wake of the war in Ukraine. , and the lines it drew between countries on both sides of this conflict. Today, one of the largest defense technology construction startups in the United States filed documents indicating that it is raising a major round of funding that underscores this change and the resulting opportunities for companies. like this one.

Anduril – which brings together AI, robotics, computer vision, cybersecurity and new networking technologies to build software and hardware defense systems, to help the United States and allied nations against “software-defined conflicts of tomorrow” as he describes them – raises up to $1.2 billion, according to documents the startup filed in Delaware. PrimeUnicornIndex, which identified the filing, notes that if all authorized shares, at $16.52/share, for the new Series E are issued, it could bring the company’s valuation to $6.65 billion. We understand from sources, however, that it is actually $7 billion in pre-money.

The Delaware filing does not reveal how much of that amount was raised, or who is investing. A spokesperson for Anduril would not comment on this story. But a source told us recently that at least one of the company’s former investors, 8VC, was in this round and said it will be made public in the coming weeks, implying it’s about to to close. Others who have already invested in Anduril include Elad Gil (who led Anduril’s latest round, a $450 million Series D in June 2021), D1 Capital Partners, Valor Equity Partners, Lux Capital, General Catalyst and Founders Fund.

For more background on the fundraiser, The Information reported first hearing about it about a month ago; at that time, it was estimated at between $500 million and $1 billion for a valuation of around $7 billion. Delaware’s record seems to indicate that the valuation turns out to be higher than originally expected, and the amount raised is also higher.

Anduril’s fundraising comes amid notable changes in the venture capital funding world.

On the one hand, we and others have painted a picture of the challenges startups face in raising and closing funding rounds, with the trickle down from the top down, so to speak.

Publicly traded tech stocks saw steep declines and sell-offs across the board, which had a ripple effect on the IPO market, which in turn caused concern among investors (usually also faced with equity performance pressure in public markets) supporting late-stage large rounds in the growth stage for private scale-ups, with mid-sized rounds also acting as a deterrent, and so on, trickling down to the earliest startups. In any case, after years of frothy activity, the bubbles are bursting and valuations are also falling.

On the other hand, there are multiple exceptions to this rule, depending on factors such as the sector in question, the company and its performance, the amount raised and the person investing.

Anduril ticks a few of those boxes, starting with the shift in focus around companies that build defense and “resilience” technologies, and the broader business opportunities for them.

Although a number of VCs have moved away from military technology investments over the years, there have always been VCs that have focused specifically on this area, including those like In-Q-Tel, the branch investment from the CIA.

Now partly spurred by world events; the power and influence of countries perceived as potential hostile threats; and the role technology plays as a weapon and a battleground, investors like these are now being joined by a new wave of funders and buyers.

For example, after many years of inactivity in this space, NATO last fall announced a new innovation fund, initially endowed with $1 billion to invest in defense, security and high technology that “otherwise, they may not be able to successfully develop the innovative solutions most needed to protect the [NATO] Alliance.” From what we understand, this could also include technology designed to improve resilience in areas such as power generation – something that has been a looming issue, given the embargoes imposed on Russia. about its invasion of Ukraine, and how that plays out with its position as one of Europe’s leading oil and gas suppliers.

The funnel of buyers is also growing. Earlier this year, for example, Germany announced a €100 billion defense spending pledge – again, driven by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the threat Russia now poses. – which will also have a strong technological component.

This activity is not limited to Europe. In January, Anduril won a nearly $1 billion contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to provide anti-unmanned systems and systems integration to DoD Special Operations Command, a deal that may have caught the attention of investors, given the timing with this round.

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